A FORMER Tyrone star rues the fact that the potential loss to Cathal McShane’s club Owen Roes has been overlooked amid the controversy over his proposed career switch to Aussie Rules.
John Lynch featured for Ireland in an International Rules test series against Australia back in the mid 1980s but the Castlederg man is now a fierce opponent of the hybrid game.
And in light of McShane’s talked about switch to the professional code Down Under, Lynch states that the GAA has left itself exposed to such scenarios because of its close connections with the AFL.
“Mickey Harte was throwing out a glimmer of hope at the weekend that Cathal might stay but we have to face facts, our top young GAA players are there to be taken right now and we can’t do anything about it.
“From a Tyrone point of view Cathal was the best full-forward in Ireland in 2019 and we could be losing him. We can’t afford that from a footballing point of view, to lose one of our top players.
“It’s even worse in fairness for his club. You look at Owen Roes situation where they were a Division Three team for a long time and then brought a few young players through along with Cathal who was top scorer in the County.
“They almost got to Division One last year. They are going to be without him now this year which is unfair. There is no compensation for them- he is gone and that is it.”
Lynch insisted that the finger of blame should not be pointed at the player himself, no matter the furore which has blown up about his switch to a new sport.
“Listen you can’t blame any young lad for jetting out to another country to make money by playing sport. It could be a once in a lifeline opportunity. I don’t think any of us are in a position to be critical of any individual for making that choice. We can’t be selfish or critical about his decision because most or not all of us would do exactly the same if given that option at his age.”
McShane’s potential move to the Australian Football League has taken a new twist with Adelaide Crows saying he will train with them this month.
It had been reported that the Tyrone forward would travel to Australia to assess whether to accept an offer to join AFL outfit Brisbane Lions.
The Crows then announced that he would train with them “in the coming weeks”.
“We’re looking forward to Cathal joining our pre-season training programme and getting to know him a bit better,” said Crows general manager Justin Reid.
“He has the physical attributes, coming in at a touch over 190 centimetres. He’s also strong in the air and can kick on both feet.
“Once he lands in Adelaide, it’ll provide the opportunity to understand more about our club, our philosophies and what our programme looks like.”